Skip to main content
9 answers
10
Asked 1465 views Translate

What skillsets should someone inerested in a career in finance have?

I'm thinking about a career in finance because i'm really good at math, but i'm wondering what additional skills I should have to really be successful in that industry? #finance #financial-services #investment-management #investing

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

10

9 answers


1
Updated Translate

Cristine’s Answer

Hi Marcus,


I've worked in corporate finance and credit risk management, which requires a strong understanding of financial statement and analysis. In my role, I am constantly learning because every company is different. Once you've learned the basic concepts it is important to apply those concepts, but also figure out what is the best action in a given scenario. We have analysis here that want to be told what to do by their manager and others that prefer to explore all avenues on their own to determine the best outcome and run that by a manager if needed. Often there may not be one clear answer and you must evaluate many alternatives, which requires research and asking lots of questions. If you are a curious individual and genuinely interested in finance, you will do well.

1
1
Updated Translate

Paul’s Answer

The fact that you are really good at math is great. That will be very helpful. I would suggest you also be prepared to do a lot of reading because just being able to crunch the numbers isn't enough. You have to learn how to interpret the data and research the "why". This involves looking beyond the numbers and reading annual reports and other articles about particular companies.

1
0
Updated Translate

Jenny’s Answer

Marcus - Great to hear you enjoy math and the concepts that entails. In terms of relating that to the business world, typically people with math backgrounds are very detailed, organized, and systematic in their approach to attacking a problem.


A strong finance analyst is able to apply those traits to work through data and come to conclusions on what is driving the results. It is extremly important to understand the "why" and to be able to clearly communicate the outcomes or solutions you are providing. Always strive to identify the trends and provide useful insight into the numbers.


Work on your excel skills and knowledge of a P&L, Income Statement, and Balance sheet.

0
0
Updated Translate

Paul’s Answer

I think it is always important to be able to: i) think strategically and ii) effectively communicate. Thinking strategically about the bigger picture versus getting into the weeds, which will demonstrate to others that you have a strong understanding of the issue trying to solve and help you to make better decisions. Thinking strategically is also not just about solving today’s problems, it is also about planning for tomorrow and the next week and making sure problems don’t recur again. Also, effective communication is key to any career, whether it is one-on-one discussions, team meetings, listening to customers, or most importantly mastering public speaking (small to large audiences). There will be one point (probably many) in your career when you are going to be required to present in front of an audience and mastering public speaking and having effective communication skills is essential.
0
0
Updated Translate

Renee’s Answer

Hi Marcus, liking math is definitely a great place to start! It is also helpful to be detail oriented and have good analytic skills. There will be times when you will need to research a lot of data in order to come up with a good explanation to what is driving numbers. Being able to identify these drivers as well as finding trends and patterns in the data is really valuable. We also use a lot of Excel and Oracle tools in FP&A. Understanding things like pivots, vlookups, etc. are great tools to get you started on analyzing financial data.

0
0
Updated Translate

Mario’s Answer

Time management and being able to prioritize is important. If you're in corporate finance and you're working on closing the books you need to meet timelines, submit results to management, etc. everything has to be done within a certain time frame so you need to be able to prioritize and make sure you get everything done in time.


Analytical skills are also important, like Paul and Jenny said, you need to be able to find the "why". Anyone can read the numbers and tell you you're over budget or that your revenue is shrinking - but why!? what is the business reason for the deviation?


Also, think about where you want to go with your finance career ... Corporate Finance, Investment Banking, Risk Management, Trading... skills needed will also depend on this.

Thank you comment icon As numerous people have suggested, time management and risk analysis are important qualities to possess. I am an underwriter for the government and typically a loan for a mortgage can require you to review anywhere from 200 to 1000 plus pages and you need to be able to complete 4 to 5 loans a day. You also have to be able to do calculations and assess risk to determine if the person can qualify for the loan they are trying to get and if it meets the banks regulations and company guidelines. It is a challenging job but can be very rewarding. Good luck in your search. Brian Downey
0
0
Updated Translate

Karla’s Answer

Teamwork, personal skills, time management, and organizational are excellent skills to focus on for young adults entering the workforce. Since your focus is in finance (which is awesome!), I think time-management and organizational skills may be the most important qualities in a profession in finance. Time management and organizational skills will help with attention to detail (very important in finance), meet deadlines (you will have plenty of deadlines in the finance world), etc. Also, since you will be at the start of your exciting career, I think that time management and organizational skills will be imperative to help manage your workload, and thereby 1) meeting your deadlines on or before they are due, and 2) meeting your deadlines can be often perceived as being a self-motivating / self-starter employee…both making you stand out from your peers! Most professionals continue to learn and/or enhance certain skills via their professions, day-to-day tasks. Keep that in mind as you navigate the workforce.

I wish you all the best, good luck Marcus!
0
0
Updated Translate

Arun’s Answer

Finance professionals should have extensive knowledge in math including creating financial reports, budgets, balance sheets and income statements.
Finance jobs require skills in communicating policies and procedures to other employees and customers. Finance professionals should be able to present the budget to staff members and explain why there is a profit or loss.
Finance professionals should be knowledgeable about using technology to access and make changes to important financial documents including budgets, purchase orders and customer accounts.
Finance professionals analyze market trends to forecast business, industry and economic conditions. Along with monitoring a company's finances, finance managers and executives perform data analysis and advise managers on ways to increase Profit.

0
0
Updated Translate

Rose’s Answer

Communication skills are critical. You need to get appropriate inputs for financial models and present outputs in a way that drives good decisions. Some communication methods I use on a regular basis are phone calls, email, instant messages, powerpoint decks, excel workbooks, and word documents. Visual aids and concise summaries are extremely important when dealing with executives.

0